I made it home from San Diego, and have basically been in a daze for the last two days. It’s not just the Sunday red-eye that I took (and thank goodness for evening flights, because I did not want to waste my Monday on a plane), it was the previous five days of non-stop action — early mornings, late nights. Everyone’s been asking what Comic Con was like, and I always say the same thing: “Lots of fun. Totally exhausting.” Which is true, because I get to meet readers and see my friends — non-stop. That’s why I go. I didn’t even walk the floor until Sunday morning (which was the only time it was manageable).
I spent the whole time promoting Monstress, my new comic from Image — coming out November 4th. Almost 70 pages long, which is already more than half the size of a typical trade. Why is the book that long? Couldn’t I have just cut it down to even half that length?
Well, sure. But I didn’t want to. Actually, even if I’d wanted to, it would have been a bad idea. The story needed that space — it needed every panel, every page, all collected into one massive issue. To cut it up into two parts, or three, would have messed with the rhythm, weakened the story. Sometimes, you just need to read something in one sitting. Maybe it’s the novelist in me. The rest of the issues won’t be that long, but I won’t lie: I take deep, deep pleasure in knowing that I have the freedom to do what I want with this book — and that I have a genius artist like Sana Takeda as my partner-in-crime.
I was on an Image panel last week, in which we discussed freedom — the freedom that comes with creator owned work. I’ve known that freedom, having had it in novel-writing — but this is the first time as a comic book writer that I feel as though the sky’s the limit. I can finally get my freak on.
Of course, “getting my freak on” means writing about a steampunk 1900’s Asia, imprisoned kaiju, witch-nuns, little girls who are part fox, and a heroine who is slowly being transformed into a monster.
This isn’t the only creator-owned book that I’m working on. There’s more coming down the pipeline — I’ve had a taste, and with a couple exceptions, I’m not planning on returning to work-for-hire. That’s fun, but this is way more of an adventure.